The Serrano Report, Vol. VI, #35

Dec 11, 2009 Issues: The Bronx, Financial Services, Health

On Capitol Hill

House Passes Serrano Bill Celebrating Grand Concourse

On Tuesday, Congressman Serrano ushered through the House of Representatives H. Res 907, a resolution recognizing the Grand Concourse in the Bronx on its centennial anniversary. The bill passed unanimously, 415-0. During debate on the resolution, Serrano highlighted the history and importance of the Grand Concourse. Watch the video of his remarks here:

“The Grand Concourse is the beating heart of the Bronx and at 100 years old, it is as important to us as ever,” said Serrano after the debate. “I thank my colleagues for passing this resolution, which recognizes the Grand Concourse as one of the great boulevards in New York City and indeed the nation. In so many ways, we are recognizing the heart of a cultural force in American life—The Bronx. So many people and ideas have come through the Bronx, and the Grand Concourse is the chief street that all of them shared. It has such a great history and such a positive future to come as the Bronx continues to thrive.”

House Passes Omnibus Appropriations Bill

On Thursday, by a vote of 221-202 the House passed H.R. 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010.  Because Congress had been unable to pass all of the Appropriations bills separately, six bills totaling $446.8 billion were grouped together into an omnibus package.  The appropriations bills included:  Transportation-HUD, Commerce, Justice and Science, Financial Services and General Government, Labor-Health-Education, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and State and Foreign Operations. Included in this consolidated appropriations act is important funding for veterans and military families, an expansion of health care coverage and services, job retraining programs, education, scientific research, housing programs, and the census. 

As Chairman of the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations SC, Congressman Serrano was responsible for negotiating with the Senate to make final funding decisions for his section of this omnibus.  Some of the agencies under his Subcommittee’s jurisdiction are: Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Small Business Administration.  The bill makes an effort to make sure that capital and other assistance gets to small businesses and disadvantaged communities by providing significant increases to the Small Business Administration and the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. 

“The Financial Services and General Government section of the consolidated bill reflects our desire to protect consumers, shore up the regulatory system, ensure tax fairness and unburden the residents of the District of Columbia,” said Serrano. “We worked diligently to reach compromises on a variety of issues, and on the whole, I believe this section will reflect the wishes of the House and Senate, and work well with President Obama’s goals. We were careful to be good stewards of taxpayer funds and I am happy to report that we were able to accomplish many of our goals and still come in $40 million below the President’s request.”

Watch Congressman Serrano discuss his portion of the bill on the floor of the House.

For the text of the omnibus and a comprehensive summary of each of the sections of the omnibus package please go to:

Bronx-Based Health Center Gets $12 million Grant

On Wednesday at the White House, President Obama announced that Urban Health Plan, a Bronx-based community health organization, would receive a $12 million grant to help build an addition to its main building on Southern Boulevard. This addition will greatly expand the capacity of Urban Health Plan to provide medical services to the people of the South Bronx. During the ceremony at the White House , the President presented more than $500 million in grants to community health centers around the country. The money for the grants was provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"Urban Health Plan has provided health services to the Bronx for more than 30 years," said Serrano after attending the event at the White House. "I am so pleased that the White House has recognized the important work they do and decided to help them continue this work. Quality, affordable health care is critical to helping the South Bronx thrive. and Urban Health Plan is an important part of that."

Serrano with Paloma Hernandez, CEO of Urban Health Plan, at the White House event

 Serrano with Paloma Hernandez, CEO of Urban Health Plan, at the White House event

Serrano Meets with NALAC Members

On Wednesday, Congressman Serrano met with Rosalba Rolón, founder and artistic director of Pregones Theater in the South Bronx, and other members of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, who were visiting Washington for their annual leadership conference and to learn more about the legislative process.

 Serrano meeting in his office with the members of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture

 Serrano meeting in his office with the members of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture

Grant Opportunities

Historical Archives Grant

Application Deadline: June 3, 2010

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently announced the availability of funding to support projects that promote the preservation of documents essential to better understanding American history and culture.  Projects can be designed for professional education curriculum development, however the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) seeks proposals that are not limited in scope to one state or region.  State and local governments, institutions of higher education, and 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations are encouraged to apply.

For more information about this opportunity, please visit the National Archives website.

For information on other government grants, please go to: